Why should I add notes to my trade promotion event?

It doesn’t matter if you’re using the iTPM solution inside NetSuite, or any third-party hosted TPM software solution.  You’re going to hear end users ask the question, “why should I take the time to add notes to my trade promotion event”?

Adding notes to your promotions isn’t just for the person creating the event.  Every person that touches the promotion as it goes through its life cycle should add notes to keep all promotion stakeholders informed on critical promotions:

Add notes to your promotion during these tasks:

  • Submitting a promotion for approval:
    • Additional information on promotion negotiations, and expected retail execution
    • Communication and feedback from the retail buyer
    • Competitive information if you are requesting meet-competition discounting
  • Approving a promotion:
    • Feedback from the approver on why a promotion is rejected
    • Suggestions for next year if this deal will be copied and repeated
  • Tracking a promotion:
    • Updated information on a promotion from the retailer and/or broker
    • Anything that might help the settlement team confirm compliance when processing the settlement for this promotion.
  • Paying or matching a deduction to the promotion
    • Why you are requesting payment by check vs. waiting for short-pay
    • Document # & details of the short-pay that was matched to your promotion
    • Why you are closing the promotion (or not) for future settlements

Adding notes to trade promotion events in your TPM solution shouldn’t stop with written text.  Virtually all TPM software today provides the ability to attach electronic documents to your promotion.  While PDFs may be the most common format, Excel is often supported too.

Attach these documents to your promotion:

 These documents aren't just helpful for retail post-audits.  Electronic documentation is helpful when you own company conducts internal sales and financial audits.

Attach electronic documents that will help you defend against future post audits:

  • Customer’s completed promotional form(s)
  • Signed promotional contract
  • Retailer’s email commitment
  • Broker’s or field sales picture confirmation of retail execution, or URL link to that information
  • Anything that might be helpful if the customer disputes what you owe for this promotion.
    • Retailer’s stated or list-price for merchandising vehicles
    • Before / after planograms for new distribution allowances

It takes extra time for TPM stakeholders to add notes and attach electronic documents to their planned promotions in a TPM solution.  However, the benefits are worth the extra effort in time savings when considering the entire promotion life-cycle across all TPM stakeholders.

The next time you touch a trade promotion, take an extra minute to add a note or attach a document!


Alex Ring


CG Squared, Inc.